Project Proposal: Sustainable Heating and Cooling at OWU

Participant: Chris Pessell

About half of the buildings on campus have no AC or have insufficient heating. Some of the buildings that do have H&C are inefficient, such as the Science Center. This project aims to find alternative methods that could provide efficient, cost effective, and environmentally conscious air conditioning and heating throughout the year. Some alternative methods that I have found include geothermal H&C that may be promising. However, entirely new heating and cooling systems are not the only focus. Additional ideas may be taken on a smaller scale such as adding more plants or painting buildings in such a way as to reflect heat. I believe this project is important because there is no reason that the buildings on campus shouldn’t have some form of air conditioning and heating. It would be an addition that could improve student retention rates which would fit well into the current 2020 goal. It would also fit in well with the proposed Sustainability Plan. portion of the plan is that building renovations should be made with environmental sustainability in mind. Adding effective and sustainable temperature control would be an important addition.

There is going to be a lot of research put into this project. First, research on alternative methods will need to be explored. Based on that research, 1-3 prospective alternatives (large scale or small scale) to conventional H&C should be selected. Next, I will need to contact a representative of the school to discuss current H&C methods and future plans for building renovations in terms of H&C. Based on that discussion, we could add some of the options to the Campus Sustainability Plan and/ or begin implementing small scale changes to the buildings.

Another benefit of this project would be the decrease in the urban heat island in Delaware. The Urban Heat Island is a phenomena where urban areas give off more heat due to the large amount of surfaces that absorb but don’t release heat and the amount of exhaust from cars or houses. The result is a higher temperature in urban areas when compared to the rural areas that surround the urban area. While Delaware is unlikely to have a large UHI when compared to a big city like Columbus, finding alternative ways to generate air conditioning or heat or making small changes to the ways we construct and paint our buildings could help to alleviate the UHI affect.


Summary of Project and the Results (Similar to an abstract)

  • Overview of why this project is important and the goals
  • Summary of effective alternatives and possible results of project.

Overview of Current, Conventional H&C on Campus

  • Discuss what methods are currently used on campus.
  • Discuss efficiency, cost, and environmental impact of current methods.
  • Discuss any future plans with building renovations.

Research of 1-3 Alternatives to Conventional H&C

  • Research on how each alternative could be beneficial to the campus (cost, efficiency, sustainability).
  • Details of each alternative.
  • Discuss other potential benefits.

How to Begin

  • Give ways that we could improve on temperature control in campus buildings that have not been renovated.

Projected Benefits of Project

  • Discuss overall benefits of project.
  • Relation to Campus Sustainability.
  • Final Take-Away Message

Annotated Bibliography

Source 1

This article discusses small scale ways of cooling, primarily through ventilation. I am unsure that this will be effective for dorm or large buildings, smaller buildings such as Sturges could probably take advantage of some of these techniques.

Source 2

This source is from another college’s sustainability plan giving ideas of how to make heating and cooling systems more efficient.

Source 3

This article focuses on the use of solar energy for heating and cooling, using examples of residential, offices, and hotels. The study looked at the efficiency and any CO2 emissions.

Source 4

This is a book that covers everything you need to know about thermogeology, although it is not about creating a way of capturing and using heat in the ground. This book will be primarily used for details about thermogeology when it’s used as a heating source.

Source 5

This article about a campus using waste pumps to generate heating and cooling for their buildings. This system could cut the school’s emissions in half, but it still needs a lot of electricity to run it.

Source 6

This article reviews the use of district heating and cooling. One building or centralized area would generate the energy and then distribute it throughout the surrounding areas.

Source 7

This source focuses on geothermal HVAC for college campuses.

Source 8

Chapter 7 of David JC Mackay’s Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air discusses the energy use for traditional heating and cooling methods. The book may explore it further, but I haven’t read far enough into it to know.

Source 9

This is an informative article from a company about how geothermal energy works.

Source 10

This article focuses on heating and cooling use groundwater.

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